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Temporal range: Late Oligocene–Recent
Koala climbing tree.jpg
Phascolarctos cinereus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Infraclass: Marsupialia
Order: Diprotodontia
Suborder: Vombatiformes
Family: Phascolarctidae
Owen, 1839


The Phascolarctidae (Phasco - pouch or bag, larct- from the Greek arctos meaning bear) are a family of marsupials of the order Diprotodontia, consisting of only one extant species, the koala,[1] and six well-known fossil species, with another five less well known fossil species, and two fossil species of the genus Koobor, whose taxonomy is debatable but are placed in this group. The closest relatives of the Phascolarctidae are the wombats, which comprise the family Vombatidae.[2]

The fossil record of the family dates back to the Middle Miocene[3] or Late Oligocene.[4]


Family Phascolarctidae[1]

  • Genus †Nimiokoala
  • Genus †Invictokoala[5]
    • Invictokoala monticola
  • Genus †Madakoala
    • Madakoala robustus
    • Madakoala wellsi
    • Madakoala devisi
  • Genus †Litokoala
    • Litokoala garyjohnstoni
    • Litokoala kutjamarpensis
    • Litokoala kanunkaensis
  • Genus †Koobor
    • Koobor jimbarrati
    • Koobor notabilis
  • Genus †Perikoala
    • Perikoala palankarinnica
    • Perikoala robustus
  • Genus Phascolarctos
    • Phascolarctos maris
    • Koala - Phascolarctos cinereus
    • Giant koala - Phascolarctos stirtoni
    • Phascolarctos yorkensis (formerly Cundokoala yorkensis)[6]
  • Genus †Priscakoala
    • Priscakoala lucyturnbullae[4]


  1. ^ a b c Groves, C.P. (2005). "Family Phascolarctidae". In Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M. Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 43. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494. 
  2. ^ Groves, C.P. (2005). "Suborder Vombatiformes". In Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M. Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 43–44. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494. 
  3. ^ Benton, M.J. (2005). Vertebrate Palaeontology. Oxford. p. 314. 
  4. ^ a b Karen Black; et al. (2012). "New Tertiary koala (Marsupialia, Phascolarctidae) from Riversleigh, Australia, with a revision of phascolarctid phylogenetics, paleoecology, and paleobiodiversity". Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 32 (1): 125–138. doi:10.1080/02724634.2012.626825. 
  5. ^ Gilbert J. Price and Scott A. Hocknull (2011). "Invictokoala monticola gen. et sp. nov. (Phascolarctidae, Marsupialia), a Pleistocene plesiomorphic koala holdover from Oligocene ancestors". Journal of Systematic Palaeontology. 9 (2): 327–335. doi:10.1080/14772019.2010.504079. 
  6. ^ Talent, John A. (2012). Earth and Life. Springer. p. 1047. ISBN 9789048134281. 

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